Kratom: Thailand Amends Narcotics Act To Decriminalize Plant / Compound


The Bangkok Post reports With the law effectively decriminalising the plant Mitragyna speciosa, commonly known as kratom, effective from Monday, many people are looking forward to using the herb openly without the threat of prosecution. The plant will be reclassified as a herb that can be legally grown and used under the recently amended Narcotics Act, after it had been listed as a Type-5 narcotic under previous iterations of the law. Not only will the use and possession of the plant for medical purposes no longer be illegal, more than 12,000 people who had been convicted for kratom-related offences when it was still considered a narcotic will be granted an amnesty. ADVERTISEMENT Kratom has both opioid and stimulant-like effects and has been used for a long time in almost all regions of the country. Farmers, for instance, would chew on the plant’s leaves to sustain their energy while working their fields. In 2016, the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) allowed villagers in Surat Thani’s Ban Na San district to grow over 1,500 kratom trees and consume their leaves under a controlled setting, as part of their research into decriminalising the plant. Songkhram Buathong, chief of tambon Nam Phu in the district, saw the impact of the plant’s decriminalisation under the research project first-hand. He welcomed the move, saying villagers will now be able to acquire the herb legally, which in turn will dramatically bring prices down. “The plant has long been used by locals to relieve stomach aches, coughs, and diabetes,” he said. He said when kratom was still considered a narcotic, a leaf would cost between 5-10 baht. These days, he said, prices range between 1-1.50 baht per leaf, depending on size. “We no longer have to hide the [chewed] leaves out of fear of getting arrested,…

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Source : Kratom: Thailand Amends Narcotics Act To Decriminalize Plant / Compound

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